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Our Time Machine
“The visual ambiguities of puppet theater suggest that we do not yet know the dimensions and limits of what we call life.” (Kenneth Gross)
Filmmakers Yang Sun (China) and S. Leo Chiang (USA) follow Chinese photographer and artist Maleonn as he embarks on the creation of his first puppet theatre project titled Papa’s Time Machine and dedicated to his father Ma Ke who in his time had been a successful Peking Opera director. While Maleonn works against the clock, his father, struck by Alzheimer’s disease, slowly gets lost in time. Thus, the construction of Papa’s Time Machine becomes more and more important for the son who tries to save their shared memories.
With great dramaturgical and visual competence, the filmmakers use the story of Maleonn’s ambitious and costly theatre production to carve out the touching portrait of a father-son-relationship that reveals two strong-willed artists who, against all proclamations of their difference, have a lot in common.
Yang Sun und S. Leo Chiang
Yang Sun is a documentary director and cinematographer based in Beijing. He works at China’s Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio, making documentaries for broadcasters including CCTV, Youku and the Travel Channel. Yang Sun has directed several short and mid-length documentaries, including The Second Album, Aken, After He Rose to Fame, as well as the ten-part series Take Me To Travel. He worked as a director of photography on A Century with Nanjing, Century Master and South of the Ocean. Sun Yang holds a Master’s degree from the School of Television and Film Art at the Communication University of China. Our Time Machine is his first feature-length documentary.
S. Leo Chiang is a Taiwanese-American director, producer and writer based in San Francisco and Taipei. His documentary Mr. Cao Goes to Washington won the Inspiration Award at the 2012 Full Frame Documentary Festival. His previous film, Emmy-Award-nominated A Village Called Versailles, picked up eight awards and aired on the PBS series Independent Lens. Chiang’s work has received funding support from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, and ITVS. Chiang holds a Master of Fine Arts in film production from the University of Southern California. He is the co-founder of A-Doc, the Asian American Documentary Network, and a documentary branch member of the Academy.